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Football London
Football London
Alasdair Gold

Pape Matar Sarr and the five Tottenham players who will benefit most from Conte's pre-season

Antonio Conte is set to put his Tottenham players through a pre-season like nothing they have experienced before and for some members of his squad it's going to be a crucial period.

Early next month the Spurs players will start returning in stages to pre-season training, the non-internationals arriving back at Hotspur Way first and then those involved in international matches this month returning in time for the club's flight to Korea on July 9 for their pre-season tour.

Conte will work them all harder than they have ever been worked in the close season. The Italian utilises high-intensity drills, demanding extreme fitness work in a concentrated amount of time and the players will be pushed to their limits without the distraction of competitive matches.

READ MORE: Tottenham players preparing to experience gruelling Antonio Conte pre-season like no other

It's set to be a big pre-season in order for the Tottenham head coach to set up his philosophy and plans for the campaign ahead and also for certain players to show him what they have in terms of their fitness and their ability. Here are five players we believe could benefit the most from Conte's first summer at the north London club.

Pape Matar Sarr

A year after the teenage Senegal international signed for Tottenham and he will finally walk through the doors at Hotspur Way. The 19-year-old midfielder spent last season back on loan at Metz and it was a tough campaign for the team but an important one for his development as he played 34 times and started the bulk of the matches.

Sarr tasted Africa Cup of Nations glory with Senegal and his performances in the latter weeks of the French campaign helped Metz push their survival fate to the final day of the season but that last match was at PSG and even the talented teenager could not prevent the Ligue 1 club from relegation.

Sarr will arrive at Tottenham hardened by a tough season but he will face a very different competition in the shape of Premier League. This pre-season will give Conte a good chance to look at him and decide whether, despite high hopes for his future, he is ready for Spurs just yet.

At 6ft tall, the teenager has the frame for the English game but he will need to bulk up for the physical demands of the competition and Conte's fitness staff will help begin that process before a decision is made on whether Sarr heads out on loan again.

Ryan Sessegnon

Last summer brought a pre-season injury for Sessegnon, but he needs to ensure that this time around he's at his physical peak to continue his progress under Conte. The 22-year-old had a big second half of the campaign under the Italian, becoming the first choice left wing-back at the club despite some more hamstring problems during the season and earning plenty of praise from the boss, who told that he believes Sessegnon can become an "important player for Tottenham and England".

Conte's pre-season will be something of a make or break month for Sessegnon's body and it's with that in mind that he was pulled out of England U21 duty last week following plenty of minutes towards the end of the campaign as Spurs' only fit player in that position. The plan is for Sessegnon to rest up his muscles and be physically fresh in order to start pre-season with a clean slate when it comes to his body.

With new competition in the experienced Ivan Perisic, someone he can learn plenty from, if Sessegnon comes through Conte's summer with flying colours then a big season lies ahead.

Bryan Gil

Another player returning from loan with a point to prove is Bryan Gil and he will take part in pre-season training with Conte's opinion on his signing still ringing in his ears.

"You know that I like to tell the truth and for sure we’re talking about a really good player in Gil, because he has good quality and he understands football quickly," Conte told after Gil left for Valencia on loan. "In this moment, for sure this league is very tough. This league is different. If you compare this league with other leagues, you play another sport here. For this reason when you go to sign a new player, you have to consider many aspects. Not only one aspect, if he shoots well or makes an assist, you have to consider a lot of situations because this league is very difficult.

"You can be good with quality. You can be a creative player, but at the same time you have to be strong physically. You have to run a lot, to be resilient. The impact of this league is not simple. It's not simple. For this reason, the market, before signing a player, you have to check many aspects and not going on emotional things."

Gil needs to show that he can handle Conte's physical demands this summer, otherwise a move out of the club, whether it's on loan or permanently, is likely to happen.

Oliver Skipp

Conte has very high hopes for Oliver Skipp and he was more frustrated than anyone when the young midfielder was unavailable for the final months of the season.

The Spurs boss told that he believes the 21-year-old is already an important player for the club and will continue to improve under his tutelage. That is why this pre-season is going to be so crucial for Skipp to show that he is past his pelvic problems and ready for the workload that the Italian requires.

Tottenham believe in the midfielder, which is why he was handed a bumper new deal until 2027, and Conte will also be keen to see how the player works alongside Rodrigo Bentancur during pre-season as the duo have yet to play together due to the youngster's injury.

Japhet Tanganga

Like Skipp, Tanganga is another Tottenham academy product set to be back for pre-season, While this has been Skipp's first frustrating injury, the 23-year-old Tanganga needs to prove that he can overcome a series of injuries that have fragmented his Premier League career so far.

The defender was used a lot in Conte's early matches, starting nine of the 15 games he was available for under the Italian. However, a knee problem ended his season prematurely and the head coach will have a long look at Tanganga this summer before deciding what his next step will be.

The young defender's versatility could be important to Conte's squad, but the player also needs regular football in order to develop.

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